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Over the years, broccoli has earned the reputation as the vegetable that kids just won’t eat. The creative approach of adding cheese improved the likelihood that children would take a chance on broccoli. Many adults, although hesitant to try the villain vegetable after their childhood experiences, have found that it isn’t as bad as they remembered. Some have even grown to enjoy it.
Many cooks place the blame for the dislike of broccoli not on the vegetable itself, but on the way it has been prepared. Aaron Kagan, a fan of wise cooking, comments that “kids don’t hate vegetables, they hate soggy, defrosted, flavorless” vegetables. Adults aren’t much different.
Boiling broccoli removes much of its nutritional value and leaves the vegetable soggy and unappealing. The best way to serve broccoli is raw. It can also be briefly steamed—not more than 5 minutes—and also roasted. Steaming broccoli actually enhances its flavor and nutritional value
There are many recipes available online for broccoli. Keep in mind that overcooking can destroy the beneficial nutrients, so when including broccoli in a cooked side dish or casserole, it is best to add the broccoli part way through the cooking, or cook it separately and add it after the dish is cooked.
Broccoli is widely available in grocery stores throughout the United States. Freezing broccoli does not destroy its nutrients, and because broccoli is typically frozen within a few hours of being picked, may even retain more nutritional value than fresh broccoli that is a few days old. This makes broccoli a convenient choice as it is easy to keep on hand.
Its nutritional value and cancer-fighting properties is what typically gives broccoli its place on the superfoods list. A single one-half cup serving of broccoli contains high levels of vitamin C — 40 mg or 65% of recommended daily value and vitamin K — 45 mcg or 56% of the daily value. According to Wikipedia, broccoli contains nutrients that help the immune system, and assist DNA repair in cells. It also appears to interfere with the growth of cancer cells.
In an indirect way, broccoli helps the body with its vitamin D requirements. Although not containing helpful amounts of vitamin D itself, broccoli contains a uniquely effective combination of vitamins A and K. These two vitamins, in large amounts, help to manage the metabolism of vitamin D. For people who need to supplement their diets with vitamin D, the high levels of these two “helper” vitamins in broccoli make it an ideal choice to include in the diet.
There is extensive information available regarding the remarkable impact broccoli has on many of the body’s processes and systems. Not only does broccoli provide benefits for the body in battling inflammation, but it also boosts the body’s ability to detoxify itself, protect itself against cancer and works to support cardiovascular and digestive systems. These mechanisms have become especially helpful as allergens and toxins in our environment increase. As our bodies have to work harder to eliminate harmful substances, our systems can get weakened and become less effective. The powerful combinations of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins can work with our body’s systems to support and enhance their effectiveness.
Keeping broccoli on hand, either in the refrigerator or freezer can go a long way in providing the components necessary for balanced nutrition and health.